Kagemusha

( 5 )

Overview

Just as many American studio-era directors found acclaim abroad that was denied them in their home country, by 1980 Akira Kurosawa's reputation outside Japan exceeded his esteem at home. As uncompromising as ever, he found considerable difficulty securing backing for his ambitious projects. Unsure he would be able to film it, the director, an aspiring artist before he entered filmmaking, converted Kagemusha into a series of paintings, and it was partly on the basis of these that he won the financial support of ...
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DVD (Special Edition / Wide Screen / Subtitled)
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Overview

Just as many American studio-era directors found acclaim abroad that was denied them in their home country, by 1980 Akira Kurosawa's reputation outside Japan exceeded his esteem at home. As uncompromising as ever, he found considerable difficulty securing backing for his ambitious projects. Unsure he would be able to film it, the director, an aspiring artist before he entered filmmaking, converted Kagemusha into a series of paintings, and it was partly on the basis of these that he won the financial support of longtime admirers Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas. Set in the 16th century, when powerful warlords competed for control of Japan, it offers an examination of the nature of political power and the slipperiness of identity. For some time, Shingen Takeda Tatsuya Nakadai has been able to stay removed from the heat of battle by using his brother Nobukado Tsutomu Yamazaki as a double. As the film opens, Nobukado offers another option, having discovered a condemned thief (also played by Tatsuya Nakadai) bearing an uncanny resemblance to the warlord. After he insists on witnessing the fall of an enemy in person, Shingen falls victim to a sniper's bullet, forcing his advisers to present the thief as the fallen warrior. At first awkward in his new position and plagued by dreams in which the spirit of his double confronts him, he slowly grows into the role even as his enemies begin to advance on his kingdom. The winner of the Palm D'Or at Cannes, Kagemusha: The Shadow Warrior has also been released as The Double.
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Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer; Audio commentary by Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior's Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa; Theatrical trailers and teasers; New and improved English subtitle translation; Lucas, Coppola and Kurosawa featurette; A 41-minute documentary on the making of Kagemusha; Image: Kurosawa's Continuity; A series of Suntory Whiskey commercials made on the set of Kagemusha; A gallery of storyboards painted by Kurosawa and images of their realization on -screen; Plus: a 48 page booklet
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
Kagemusha was an atypical entry in the canon of Akira Kurosawa, the master of the samurai epic. At the time, Kurosawa was gradually losing his eyesight, and his films were developing an increasingly impressive visual splendor. However, in Kagemusha, the action sequences are much less thrilling than in Kurosawa's other samurai epics. Here his focus is on character development and philosophical discourse. The film swings like a pendulum between stillness and action, an occasionally jarring mix of David Lean-like panoramas with intimate character study. In Kagemusha (which translates as "shadow warrior"), Kurosawa examines the concept of the double as a means to delve into enigmatic and paradoxical philosophical issues of identity, power, self-worth, and leadership. At first, Tatsuya Nakadai appears a little stiff in the essential dual role of warlord and thief, but his performance relies on subtle differences of intonation and gesture to reveal the evolution of his character. As always, Kurosawa's exploration of the values of feudal Japan provokes contemporary audiences to make parallels with modern Japan, a tendency that did not necessarily endear him to his countrymen. In fact, by 1980 Kurosawa was such a persona non grata in Japan that he had not made a film in five years: Kagemusha would not have been made without the financial assistance of George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/29/2005
  • UPC: 715515015622
  • Original Release: 1980
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Special Edition / Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Time: 3:00:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 22,143

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tatsuya Nakadai Shingen Takeda/Kagemusha
Tsutomu Yamazaki Nobukado Takeda
Kenichi Hagiwara Katsuyori Takeda
Kota Yui Takemaru
Shuji Otake Yamagata
Daisuke Ryu Oda
Hideo Murota Baba
Masayuki Yui Iegasu Tokugawa
Takashi Shimura Gyobu Taguchi
Mitsuko Baisho Oyunokata
Kaori Momoi Otsuyanokata
Kamatari Fujiwara Doctor
Jinpachi Nezu Sohachiro Tsuchiya
Norio Matsui
Technical Credits
Akira Kurosawa Director, Executive Producer, Producer, Screenwriter
Francis Ford Coppola Executive Producer
Masato Ide Producer, Screenwriter
Shinichiro Ikebe Score Composer
George Lucas Executive Producer
Kazuo Miyagawa Cinematographer
Shinobu Muraki Production Designer
Yoshiro Muraki Art Director
Asaichi Nakai Cinematographer
Takao Saito Cinematographer
Mieno Seiichiro Costumes/Costume Designer
Tomoyuki Tanaka Executive Producer
Masaharu Ueda Cinematographer
Shoji Ueda Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Kagemusha
1. The Thief [6:57]
2. The Shot [8:38]
3. Rumor Spreads [5:23]
4. A Final Wish [4:06]
5. The Snpier's Re-enactment [4:37]
6. Last Words [4:37]
7. The Double Enters [3:09]
8. Spies Seek the Truth [7:17]
9. "I'm not a Puppet" [9:39]
10. The Burial [10:13]
11. Takemaru [6:24]
12. An Education in Being Shingen [10:26]
13. No Horses or Mistresses [1:30]
14. The Problem of Katsuyori [1:30]
15. A Changed Man [5:21]
16. A Test for Shingen [1:38]
17. The True Heir [2:55]
18. "Immovable as a Mountain" [1:58]
19. The Takeda Clan Meets [8:27]
20. A Tough Assignment [2:07]
21. The Dream [3:56]
22. Nobunaga Sends a Messenger [2:46]
23. Katsuyori Goes to Battle [2:56]
24. The Doctor Visits [5:39]
25. Katsuyori Recieves Support [18:15]
26. Ieyasu and Nobunaga Meet [4:45]
27. The Phantom of the Late Father [1:02]
28. The Thief is Exposed [8:16]
29. Shingen's Funeral [4:33]
30. The Battle of Nagashino [18:02]
31. End Credits [3:03]
32. Color Bars [:00]
Side #2 -- Kagemusha: The Supplements
1. A Film in Storyboards [4:01]
2. Casting [3:14]
3. Nakadai Replaces Katsu [4:55]
4. Production Recollections [8:24]
5. The Shoot [4:25]
6. Set, Lighting, and Music [8:58]
7. The Final Battle [6:58]
1. The Thief [2:13]
2. The Shot [2:28]
3. Rumor Spreads [2:08]
4. A Final Wish [1:12]
5. The Sniper's Re-enactment [:40]
6. Last Words [1:30]
7. The Double Enters [1:00]
8. Spies Seek the Truth [1:32]
9. I'm Not a Puppet [1:36]
10. The Burial [2:41]
11. Takemaru [1:10]
12. No Horses or Mistresses [1:19]
13. "Immovable as a Mountain" [1:41]
14. Nobunaga Sends a Messenger [:53]
15. Katsuyori Goes to Battle [1:32]
16. Katsuyori Receives Support [6:51]
17. Ieyasu and Nobunaga Meet [1:00]
18. The Thief is Exposed [:33]
19. Shingen's Funeral [1:24]
20. The Battle of Nagashino [10:06]
1. Commercial #1 [1:02]
2. Commercial #2 [:32]
3. Commercial #3 [:32]
4. Commercial #4 [1:02]
5. Commercial #5 [:31]
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Menu

Side #1 -- Kagemusha
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Commentary
      Commentary: On/Off
   Trailers
      U.S Trailer
      Japanese Teaser
      Japanese Trailer
   Subtitles
      English Subtitles: On/Off
Side #2 -- Kagemusha: The Supplements
   Lucas, Coppola, and Kurosawa
      Play
   Akira Kurosawa: It is Wonderful to Create
      Play
      Index
   Image: Kurosawa's continuity
      Play
      Index
   A Vision Realized
   Suntory Whiskey Commercials
      Play
      Index
   Subtitles
      English Subtitles: On/Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Kagemusha - Kurosawa at his best

    This was the first Japanese, samurai-era film I had ever seen, and let me say that I was just overwhelmed by everything about it. The sense of drama, the beauty of the sets, the scale of the action sequences, and by how deeply the actors got into their characters, kudos to Kurosawa, no doubt. Romanticized as I'm sure this type of film is (much like our cowboy movies), I was so impressed that I watch Kagemusha four or five times each year, (while drinking sake, of course!). It is a pensive, thoughtful movie, more than most of the genre, but anyone who enjoys movies about the wars of feudal Japan should not miss this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2014

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    Posted March 1, 2009

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    Posted January 21, 2012

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    Posted July 26, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews